A development of luxury homes in Cambridge has been daubed with graffiti – written in Latin, of course.
Vandals spray-painted the new five-bedroom river-front houses with the words Locus in Domos Loci Populum.
Locals have said the messages, which appear to be a protest against the development, could “only happen” in the university city.
The homes, in Water Street, Chesterton, priced from £1.25m are on the site of an old pub.
Cambridge University Professor of Classics, Mary Beard, said: “This is a bit hard to translate, but I think what they’re trying to say is that a lovely place has been turned into houses.”
The five detached homes, overlooking the River Cam, are being sold jointly by agents Bidwells and Tucker Gardner as a “true ‘reflection’ of the space and tranquillity” of living in this part of the city.
According to Google Translate, the phrase locus in domos means “room in the house”, and loci populum means “local people”.
The graffiti has prompted a flurry of reaction on social media, with many arguing about the meaning.
A number have suggested the vandals typed “local homes for local people” into the Google translator, and came up with the phrase “locus in domos loci populum”.
One wrote: “Whatever the translation, it’s criminal damage.”
Other comments include: “This is the most Cambridge thing ever” and “it’s a different class of graffiti in Cambridge”.
The graffiti is thought to be a protest against the development and the high cost of housing in the city.
According to a recent report from think tank Centre for Cities, Cambridge house prices are the third highest in the country, with the average cost of a city home coming in at £475,820 meaning many people are priced out of the market.
A spokesman for the developer, HC Moss (Builders) Ltd, said the company was “taking steps to remove the graffiti” and believed it was an isolated incident. Security measures at the site were being reviewed, they added.
Cambridgeshire Police confirmed they were investigating the graffiti on four houses in the street.
“A member of the public reported it to us at about 08:00 BST. We’re investigating criminal damage in the form of graffiti,” a spokesman said.